Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/05/2024

Project Features

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Yaliba Village is a rural area full of the daily sounds of passing cars and motorcycles. A busy road goes through the village with homes lined up on either side. The houses are surrounded by large trees that overhang and create a shady and cool atmosphere.

The most common livelihood in this village is processing salt from the sand that is collected when the tide recedes daily. The sand is then soaked and filtered and heated on a large metal pan. The water is then heated in three separate metal pans with each containing the liquid salt. Each pan is placed under a large fire and pan one is transferred to pan two and pan two is transferred to pan three. The process is repeated until the salt has attained its pure white color. The planting of fruits and vegetable is done on a smaller scale for the consumption of households. There are also some men who work in the stone mines and other people who engage in petty trading.

In the dry season, the houses are extremely hot and humid inside, so people find peace and comfort under large trees.

All hours of the day, children and adults are found under the trees doing different things. The women use the time under the large trees to create a special bond with their daughters. The men gather to play checkers and the women are more engaged in activities such as hair braiding. The buildings are made of mud blocks with cement plastering and roofing zinc. The back yards are lined with kitchens and the homes that have latrines are a distance off.

The dry season also causes water problems for people in Yaliba Village.

The water at the protected water well is in very low supply and goes dry for up to three months during the dry season. The little water that is available during the dry season is rationed so everyone in the community can have at least a little bit. But that means that people must also turn to other sources to meet their daily water needs.

The nearest alternative source is the open swamp. The only time the water at the swamp is used is during the worst part of the dry season. The water from the swamp is fetched and kept for a long period of time in hopes that the dirt and milky color settles to the bottom of the container. But that is not the greatest concern. Being an open source, the water from the swamp is highly contaminated, which makes it unsafe for drinking.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is dry for three months every year and needs major work to supply adequate, clean water to the community year round. The pump will be removed, and a hand auger will be lowered inside and powered by a drill team. This hand auger will allow the team to drill several meters deeper to hit a sufficient water column that will ensure the well supplies water throughout all seasons.

As the team drills, casing will be installed, transforming the bottom of this hand-dug well into a borehole. PVC piping will connect this lower system directly to the pump, a construction that we know will also improve the quality of water.

Once this plan is implemented, everyone within the community will have access to safe drinking water in both quality and quantity, even through the dry months.

The water point is going to be open to the whole village with no bias or preferential treatment given to any one person regardless of status or government affiliation. Every body is an equal owner of the water well and is equally responsible for the proper monitoring. There will be no rationing but the water user committee is at liberty to set guidelines to make sure the pump is not abused or mismanaged. Therefore there might be hours set aside to make sure the well is cleaned, so maybe some time during the day or night the water point might be closed.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.

No handwashing stations were observed here. After our visit, the hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members how to build a tippy tap (a hand-washing station built with a jerrycan, string, and sticks). They will use these tippy taps for handwashing demonstrations, and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals.

These trainings will also strengthen the water user committee that manages and maintains this well. They enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Project Updates

February, 2020: Lungi, Yaliba Village Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at Yaliba Village in Sierra Leone that is already providing clean water to students and neighboring community members! We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines.

"The newly converted water well could not have come at a better time than now. I speak for the whole village as a town headman and everybody is excited about this water well," said Sheka Turay.

Clean Water Restored

The drill team deployed on a Friday evening. It was clear skies on Saturday morning, but they gave way to rain by the afternoon. The team managed to continue with the drilling process, but it made the work slower and more difficult.

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

- Raised the tripod

- Found the original depth

- Socketed the pipes

- Installed casing

- Lined up the drill rods

- Drilled!

We reached a final depth of 21.63 meters with the water at 17.7 meters. The hand-drill method allowed the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has great water access throughout the year.

- Installed screening and filter pack

- Cemented an iron rod to the well lining, and fixed it with an iron collar at the top

- Bailed the well by hand for 3 days and flushed it

- Tested the yield

- Built a cement platform, walls, and drainage system

- Installed a stainless steel India Mk11 pump

- Conducted a water quality test

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we made repeated phone calls and visits to the local water user committee to better understand the challenges and lack of sanitation facilities in the community. We brought the findings from our baseline survey to the attention of the committee to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training or drilling could commence. When all the necessary guidelines were met, only then did our team of hygiene trainers go to conduct the training.

The attendance was more than expected. Usually, more women than men attend but in this case, half of the more than 275 people at the training were men. The training was held under a bunch of large, tall mango trees.

It was a great day for most members of the community to be present at the training. The children and adults took part in the hygiene training by asking questions and participating in activities about hygiene and sanitation.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps; good and bad hygiene; disease transmission and prevention; worms and parasites; proper care of teeth; proper care of the pump; keeping the water clean; the cost recovery system; dishracks and clotheslines; the importance of toilets; keeping the latrine clean; balanced diets; the diarrhea doll; and HIV and AIDS.

"I am very fortunate to have been a part of the training and very impressed that they made us a part of the training instead of just talking to us," said Saidu Bangura after the training.

"According to what I learned from the training, most infections are caused by not keeping proper hygiene. We have a long way to go. I am now more conscious of my surroundings in relation to handwashing, what I eat, and where I urinate."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

December, 2019: Lungi, Yaliba Village project underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Yaliba Village, Sierra Leone drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know the community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Photos

Project Type

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.


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